Playing Shop

I used to own a little plastic cash register that had real dockets, and I loved playing shop. Dolly and Teddy were total shopaholics, I can tell you! Well, for the next month (until Friday the 5th of June) I do have a little shop that I'm sharing with my friend Mark, and this is our window! We're not finished setting up yet, so the shop's looking a little bare, but as soon as it's done I'll share some more pics! This is part of a new complex at the back of the Norwood Town Hall, called Brick+Mortar Creative Hub that houses a cafe and little pop-up shops downstairs, and larger capsule stores upstairs (where we are), plus a space to hold workshops, and wall space for exhibiting artwork. If you happen to be in South Australia, please drop by!

My friend Mark makes beautiful natural soaps, perfumes, etc as Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez (don't you just love that name?) and all his products also happen to be entirely vegan! I've designed all of his branding and packaging, in close collaboration with Mark himself, who has a very strong creative vision and aesthetic drawing inspiration from influences ranging from the familiar and nostalgic, through to the richly exotic and romantic. Like me, Mark loves the early to mid-20th century, so if you're also a lover of the culture of that time, you'll appreciate the diverse influences drawn together into his range of deeply romantic and evocative products, and of course, it's the extracts and oils from fruits, woods and flowers that are the stars of the show!

I know I'm biased here, since we've been friends for over thirty years, but knowing him so well, I can tell you that Mark has approached his business with so much thought and integrity, and has committed to only using natural ingredients in his formulations, that are not only free from artificial fragrances, etc, but also free from palm oil and other unsustainable ingredients, such as oils from threatened plant species. You can follow Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez on Facebook, where very shortly Mark will be announcing the launch of his brand new website (designed by Yours Truly), and (so exciting!) a range of natural lip balms! It is so difficult to get hold of really nice natural lip balm that is also vegan (ie. free from lanolin and beeswax), so I am totally thrilled by his new lip balms and have been a willing and happy guinea pig as he's developed the range. I hope he doesn't mind if I reveal these ahead of time, but a couple of examples of the delicious and unusual lip balm varieties are Caramelised Fig, and Rose Creme (which is rose and white chocolate). YUM!

I thought I'd show you one of the shop displays for the beautiful Shanghai Lil face mists. I use this every day as a toner; it's so gentle and refreshing. The varieties are Rose and Cucumber, and the other is Rose and Watermelon; they smell gorgeous and are perfect for sensitive skin (like mine).

As for me... I have branched out into textiles and am starting with a series of pennant-style wall hangings which will be in the B+M shop some time next week, and in my online shop when I open in June. Next to come are cushions! I thought I'd also show you the finished drawing I posted a progress shot of a little while ago. It's framed in a collaged frame that I still need to take a decent pic of (duh!). Her name is Peggy, and I think I must have been sub-consciously influenced by Mad Men lately, because I named one of my other recent portraits Sally! I've added Peggy to my gallery and will be posting some more new pieces as I complete them.

New Gocco Work

EDIT: Last Wednesday was my 1 year bloggiversary! Yay me! Here's the new work I've just finished for the Gocco Exhibition at the Here Gallery in October. It's all been bundled up & shipped off now. I made the Favourite Shoes print in an edition of 50 & it will be available in a boxed portfolio with prints from all of the other participating artists too. I get a set myself - can't wait! I think I might make a second edition of this design in different colours - I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

And here's the girl from a few posts ago that started as a sketch in my Moleskine. I've made two mixed media pieces on 6x12x1.5" canvas. I printed up a few extras on various types of paper to incorporate into some future pieces I'll be selling in my Etsy shop.

Iris-1&2.jpg

In other news, I was featured on Design Sponge last week as part of their Regional Roundup series on Australian designers. Hooray!

I was also approached by the fabulous ezine Design This Design That to take part in their Illustration issue, but I was so busy I forgot to send back the interview answers! I'm really disappointed that I missed out, because it really is a great issue, but I'm still featured in the Etsy Treasures section, which is nice. Go take a flick through- it's loaded with amazingly talented illustrators.

Gocco Exhibition

Some of my work is going to be featured in this fabulous exhibition of Gocco artists, Even Dwarves Started Small, being held at the Here Gallery in the UK (& look, one of my pics is on the flyer!). It's shaping up to be a great show (I wish I could attend!) - here's the list of artists...

Arctic Circles | Jill Bliss | Simon Dovar | Rob Flowers | Imakethings | Yellena James |Xtina Lamb | Magic Jelly (that's me!) | Mark Pawson | Nigel Peake | Peskimo | Aaron Sewards |Lucie Sheridan | Julie West | Jazmin Velasco

From the press release:

For over 25 years, the Print Gocco screen-printing system has been used in Japan. The small plastic device is a self-contained screen printing set-up, consisting of an exposure unit, pre-coated screens and inks. Originally marketed for making greeting cards and sold in toy stores, appreciation for the Gocco system has grown amongst artists who cannot afford, or don't have the space for a traditional screen-printing equipment.

We feel that the accessibility of Print Gocco reflects our own DIY ethos in running a gallery, and so have chosen to celebrate our Fifth anniversary with a group show of Gocco based artwork. To accompany the exhibition, we will be releasing a portfolio of Gocco prints, produced in a signed and numbered edition of 50, collected in a custom made presentation box.

We've selected artists who look beyond the limitations of the device, to show that it can also be used to produce fine art works. Those involved are from a range of disciplines; textile design, fine art, illustration, graphic design, and animation.